What's cooking at the library?

Last week’s Big Talk from Small Libraries online conference was organized and hosted by Michael Sauers, Laura Johnson, and Christa Burns of the Nebraska Library Commission and was co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries. It was jam packed with good sessions, delivered by people who work in small libraries. One of my favorites was a lightning round (10 minute) session called “Kitchen Creations at the Library”, presented by Lee Schauer, who is the director at the Rock Springs Public Library (WI).

Session Description

Interested in a Maker Space at your library? Why not center it around food? After all, everyone eats, right? We are lucky to be attached to a Community Center kitchen, but that’s not really necessary to run food based programs. From homemade pasta to fermented fruit (read WINE), we’re exploring it all and patrons are creating awesome goodness right here at the library. Find out how we started and where it has led us over the last year and a half. RECORDING

Notes from the Presentation

  • Many of the programs they are doing don't require a full kitchen or even a stove.
  • They create a pizza garden as part of summer reading!
  • They show “Food for Thought” documentaries at the library. Movies have included Vegucated and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.
  • They see connecting people in the community to one another is a big benefit of the programming.
  • An Amazon wish list is a good thing! Thanks to generous community members, the library has received many items for the program by putting them on their Amazon wish list.   

Programs in the Kitchen Creations Series

  • Kefir & Kambucha: Learn how to make these ancient, healthy drinks!
  • Homemade Pasta!: Learn how to make Pasta in your own Kitchen – the library now has a pasta machine
  • Juicing at the Library! Attendees were asked to bring some fruit, veggies and/or greens and the library supplied the juicers.
  • Fermenting at the Library – Attendees were asked to bring a jar, some fruits and veggies to share and to become part of a food preservation movement that began thousands of years ago.
  • Breadmaking workshop – Attendees were asked to bring a bowl and an apron
  • Soup Share Workshop! – The library supplied the bases. Attendees were asked to bring containers in which to take the soups home.

Thank You!

Thank you to the Nebraska crew for hosting such a great event! And thank you to Lee Schauer for the inspiring presentation (you can listen to the archived session).

We would love to discover and share about other food initiatives in libraries! Please share examples here in the blog comments or by emailing us at techsoupforlibraries (at) techsoupglobal.org.